The Adult Sabbath School Class

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Greg Brothers is an Adventist pastor in Oregon.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

July 3-9: Who sets your priorities?

Following God is like owning a dog.

Unfortunately, most of us would rather have a hamster.

And that’s what this week’s lesson is all about.

Over the years, you see, my children have cared for just about every kind of pet you can imagine: parakeets, lovebirds, hedgehogs, tropical fish, cats, hamsters, and a beagle who answers to the name of “Rosie” (though I generally call her “Booger”).

Now there’s no question that the easiest pet to own is definitely a hamster. Just add some food. Check the water. Change the bedding. And that’s it; you’re ready to go for another week.

But owning a dog – especially a beagle -- changes everything! As my wife says, “It’s like having a three-year-old who can run faster than you!” And just like a three-year-old, that dog affects everything – everything from the time you get up in the morning to where you go on vacation.

In short, you can buy a hamster, and still live pretty much the same life as you did before. But buy a dog, and you get a whole new life to go with it . . . whether you like it or not!

Likewise, many people in your class have some kind of connection with God. They know He exists. They believe He made us. And they like having Him around – if only for the sake of the children – just so long as He doesn’t start messing around with the rest of their lives!

But the kind of God you’ll be talking about in this week’s lesson . . . the kind of God who is revealed in Exodus 19 . . . the kind of God with whom Jesus struggled in the Garden of Gethsemane?

This is not a God who demands more!

No, this is a God who demands everything!

Then again, my dog is exactly the same. And if I’m willing to change my life for the sake of a 25-pound carnivore that snores . . .

Well, I’ll let you finish that sentence in this week’s Sabbath School lesson.

Pastor Greg

And remember: "If you don't know what is absolutely essential , then you'll waste all of your time doing those things that are merely important" -- Henri Nouwen.


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